Have you ever wondered whether you can get a key cut even if you lost the original key? Well believe it or not, the answer is yes! In fact, this is a situation that is frequently dealt with by locksmiths, so it’s not an entirely unusual situation!
However, how can they cut a key without the original? And does this apply to all types of keys, like house keys and car keys? If you want to learn more about this, then please keep on reading below.
Creating Keys From A Lock
One of the primary ways locksmiths can create a new key without the original is to create a key from the lock. Generally, there are three ways in which a locksmith can do this.
1). Cracking The Code Of The Key
What does cracking the code mean? Cracking the code means trying to navigate the pins that make up the code of the lock in order to determine how the key must be shaped. The pins inside the lock have different lengths that come in a specific order, which is what makes every lock distinct from each other. This usually involves having to disassemble and dismantle the lock.
In other words, a key code is composed of a set of characters that make each lock specific and unique. Two types of key codes are generally used to create keys: the blind code and the bitting code. The locksmith may focus more on the bitting code since it is the code used to create the actual and final keys from a key blank.
Cutting the key code is usually the easiest method for a locksmith to create a key from a lock, though it is not necessarily the best method for every type of lock. For example, a locksmith may not have access to the necessary key code, and not having the original key makes this a tad more challenging.
Some locks already have their codes stamped onto them, like cabinet locks for example. This will definitely make it easier for the locksmith to create a new key; however, this situation does not always apply.
2). Creating An Impression Of The Lock
In other circumstances, locksmiths can take an impression of the lock. While cracking the code requires the lock to be disassembled, creating an impression of the lock does not require any decoding. Rather, a blank key will be inserted into the lock, upon which the pins will press against the key and leave marks for where the cuts must be made.
The locksmith will most likely move the blank key into the lock several times in order to get an accurate picture of where the cuts must be made. This does require having to conduct a few trial runs.
Creating an impression of a lock is considered to be an efficient and expedient method for many locksmiths. However, creating an impression is not necessarily easy, and requires a lot of skill and training to be able to execute successfully.
3). Disassemble The Lock
If cracking a code and making an impression are not feasible methods, the last resort would usually be to disassemble the lock completely and start reverse engineering. Locksmiths would attempt to navigate the bitting for the key based on both the order and height of the pins inside the lock.
Disassembling the lock helps the locksmiths gain more direct access to the pins within the lock. This will also allow locksmiths to take measurements of the pins and create a functioning key from these measurements.
This process can be quite difficult for locksmiths, but this last resort may be necessary especially if cracking the code and making an impression do not work out.
What About Car Keys?
If you lost your original car keys, you can still get a replacement key without the original. Some options you may consider is going to your dealer to get a new key, though this can be quite expensive.
As an alternative, you can engage the services of an auto locksmith, who will gladly be able to help create a new key for you. All you need to tell them is the year, make, and model of your car, along with proof of ownership of the vehicle (make sure you have your registration on hand!).
It is important to keep in mind that while there are occasions in which locksmiths can create a new key without the original, not all types of locks can have a key made from it. Various locks have distinct features that can impact this.
Sometimes it will be more helpful, affordable, and even faster to have your locksmith replace your lock if they are unable to create a new key. Nonetheless, it is not at all impossible for a locksmith to create a cut without the original!
If you need advice on the best locking system for you, please contact us at Solid Lock Locksmiths. We have adjusted the way we do business to adapt to the new normal. Just like the quality of our service, we make sure that your health takes top priority.
For a fast, reliable locksmith in your area, please call us today on 0401 073 756 or leave an inquiry.